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Search tags: family-saga-or-series
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review 2016-07-29 18:48
"It Happened One Midnight" by Julie Anne Long
It Happened One Midnight - Julie Anne Long

I have been slowly working my way through the Pennyroyal Green series for years, and finding it extremely uneven. I've loved some of them (Perils of Pleasure, A Notorious Countess Confesses), hated some of them (Since the Surrender, Between the Devil and Ian Eversea), and been just "meh" about most of the rest. This one falls in the "Meh" category. The characters are likable enough, the dialogue is snappy, the plot moves along at a reasonable clip, but still... meh.

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review 2016-07-11 13:17
"Never Seduce a Scot" by Maya Banks
Never Seduce a Scot - Maya Banks

If you're looking for engrossing, well-researched, vividly detailed historical accuracy, Maya Banks is not your girl. However, if you're hoping for a quick escapist romp that's reasonably well written, with a plot that moves right along, likeable characters who don't forget to bring the feels, and a generous dash of CrazySauce to keep things interesting? Well then, this is a good bet, especially if you can pick it up on sale. 


The Montgomery and Armstrong clans have been feuding for decades. Determined to put a stop to the infighting, King Alexander decrees that Laird Montgomery must marry the Armstrong's only daughter. Unfortunately, Eveline Armstrong is rumored to be daft. Luckily, it turns out she's not daft, just deaf, and luckier still, she can read lips flawlessly and kinda-sorta-almost hear the hero's voice (and only his voice), so of course their happiness is assured... just as soon as they swim through the CrazySauce.


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review 2016-05-11 03:05
"The Player and the Pixie" by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
The Player and the Pixie (Rugby Book 2) - L.H. Cosway,Penny Reid

I've read several "big brother's best friend" books, but this is one of the only "big brother's enemy" stories I can recall. That's not even the quirkiest thing about it: The heroine is a compulsive shoplifter, and the hero sucks in bed! Good, good fun.

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review 2016-05-11 02:43
"Mister O" by Lauren Blakely
Mister O - Lauren Blakely

These are going to be quicky mini-reviews while I try to catch up on the last month's untracked reading.


This was very entertaining and sexy. First person POV from male protagonist (who is not a douche or manwhore, for all he's been around the block). Best friends' little sister trope. Some miscommunication toward the end diminished my enjoyment.

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review 2016-01-07 19:11
"Anything for You" by Kristan Higgins
Anything for You (The Blue Heron Series) - Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins' contemporary romances have been auto-buys for me for a long time, though it's been ages since I really loved one. However, they are always well-written, solidly entertaining, usually humorous, with likeable characters and relateable conflicts. Anything for You is in this same good but not great vein.


Connor has been in love with Jessica since they were 12, when her dog bit his face. Unfortunately, Jessica has always had a lot of issues, some of which have followed her even into adulthood. Her parents were alcoholics, which kept their family dirt poor. Jessica's younger brother has fetal alcohol syndrome, and Jessica has always been the only one reliable enough to take care of him. Back in high school, Jessica slept around with the popular boys in order to get them to help look out for her brother, Davey, so he wouldn't be bullied. It's been almost 15 years since high school, and in all that time she's only ever slept with Connor, but her sullied reputation remains.


Anything for You begins with Jessica turning down Connor's marriage proposal. They've dated on the down low for ten years, but Connor wants to make it real, and Jessica doesn't want anything to change. Their on-again/off-again "friends-with-benefits" arrangement doesn't work for Connor anymore, and so when Jess turns him down, they split up. Connor briefly tries playing the field, but quickly comes to the realization that he doesn't want to be with anyone else, so he has to find a way to convince Jessica that she can have the white-picket-fence life he's offering.


Therein lay my problem with the book. I felt for Jessica, even as the whole story is set up that she's the one who needs to change, to come around to Connor's way of thinking. While reading, I'd get frustrated with Jessica's tendency to run hot-and-cold on Connor, to reject him when things get rough, to blow off his heartfelt proposal, and to get mad when he tries to win her over by winning over her brother, Davey. The reader is supposed to feel, and does, like Jessica's being unreasonable in not giving Connor a chance.


Stepping out of that romance-reader mindset where the ultimate goal is happily ever after, though, when I think about this book with a more liberal, feminist perspective, I'm more skeptical. Why should Jessica have to change? She's been saving to buy her own house for her whole life; why should she give up that dream just because Connor already has a house? Yes, their ten-year arrangement of sneaking around together is untenable, and something has to change, but is Connor's proposal of marriage and happy-ever-after in his house with the white picket fence really the only option?


In the end, I was happy enough with where the story ended up, but I was uncomfortable during the journey, because Jessica was being pushed into the marriage-and-picket-fence-lifestyle that is not necessarily right for her. I was not happy with the epilogue, but I often think books are better without that schmaltzy scene tacked on at the end.

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